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Composer of the Week

Franz Schubert

Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Franz Schubert.

It’s hard to think of a composer more gregarious than Schubert, and further removed from the image of the reclusive genius, closeted away in his artistic ivory tower, creating peerless masterpieces in splendid isolation. From his days at Vienna’s Stadtkonvikt, the Imperial Catholic boarding school that offered the best general and musical education in the Austrian capital, Schubert developed a wide and supportive network of highly cultured friends, with whom he explored art, politics, religion, literature, and, of course, music; frequented the odd tavern or three; and attended convivial social gatherings in the homes of well-heeled admirers, from which developed the tradition of the ‘Schubertiad’ – informal get-togethers devoted to the performance of Schubert’s music, and above all, his songs.

In this week’s episode, we’ll start by meeting Schubert’s friends, and then take a trip round Vienna in search of Schubert’s audience. Next, Donald gives us a whistle-stop tour of the jaw-droppingly productive year that’s been called Schubert’s annus mirabilis, 1815. We’ll also hear how Schubert faced the challenge of following in Beethoven’s footsteps, and about the posthumous discovery of much of his music, including many of his most-loved works.

Music featured:
‘An die Musik’, D547
‘Suleika I’ D720
‘Geheimes’, D719
Symphony No 8 in B minor (‘Unfinished’), D759
‘Über Wildemann’, D884
‘Sehnsucht’, D879
‘Das Zügenglöcklein’, D871
Gesang (‘An Sylvia’), D891
String Quartet in D minor, D 810 (‘Death and the Maiden’)
Mass in F, D105 (Sanctus)
Overture in D, D590 (‘In the Italian style’)
Der Zwillingsbrüder, D647 (No 3, Aria, ‘Der Vater mag wohl immer Kind mich nennen’)
String Quartet in A minor, D804 (‘Rosamunde’)
Psalm 92, D953
Piano Trio in E flat, D929 (Op 100)
Erlkönig’, D328
Piano Sonata in E, D157
Mass in G, D167 (Agnus Dei)
String Quartet in G minor, D173
Der vierjährige Posten, D190
Symphony No 3 in D, D200
‘Heidenröslein’, D257
‘Gebet während der Schlacht’, D171
‘An die Nachtigall’, D196
‘Die Mondnacht’, D238
‘Das Rosenband’, D280
Beethoven: ‘Der Zufriedene’, Op 75 No 6
Schubert: ‘Der Zufriedene’, D320
Symphony No 4 in C minor (‘Tragic’), D417
‘Abschied’, D957 No 7
‘Der Atlas’, D 957 No 8
Octet in F for clarinet, horn, bassoon, string quartet and double bass, D803
‘Auf dem Strom’, D943
Liszt, after Schubert: Die Rose – Lied von Franz Schubert, S556/1
Symphony in C, D 944
Piano Sonata in A, D959
String Quintet in C, D 956
Ständchen, D920

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Chris Barstow for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Franz Schubert https://ift.tt/312RF2M

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

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Guillaume Dufay

Donald Macleod is joined by William Lyons to explore Guillaume Dufay’s life and music.

The beauty, originality and technical mastery of Guillaume Dufay’s music illustrate why the Florentine ruler Piero de’Medici gave him the epithet “the greatest ornament of our age”. Undoubtedly he is one of the 15th century’s most distinctive voices. He was in his late 70s by the time he died in 1474; a long life by medieval standards. His outstanding talent transported him from an uncertain start in life as the illegitimate son of a servant and an unknown man, to being a musician who was feted at court, and respected by the church and the papacy alike. As his fame spread across Europe, he commanded the admiration of his fellow composers, influencing not only his direct contemporaries but also the generation of composers who succeeded him, among them Johannes Ockeghem.

Donald Macleod is joined by William Lyons, a historical music researcher and the founder of the ensemble The Dufay Collective. Pulling together what’s known about Dufay, across the episode, they build a picture of the man behind this illustrious reputation, examine the key relationships he fostered, and consider how his music flourished as he navigated the turbulent political currents of the age.

Music featured:
St. Anthony of Padua Mass
Ce jour de l’an
Quel fronte signorillo
C’est bien raison de devoir essaucier
Ave Regina caelorum
Missa Ave regina caelorum
Motet: Apostolo gloriosum
Seigneur Leon, vous soyés bienvenus
Missa Sancti Jacobi – Offertorium
Magnificat tertii et quarti toni
Missa Ecce ancilla Domini – Sanctus
Malheureulx cueur
Motet: Moribus et genere
Adieu ces bons vins de Lannoys
Missa Sine Nomine – Kyrie & Gloria
Ballade: Resvelliés-vous et faites chiere lye
Vasilissa ergo gaude
O Sancte Sebastiane
Missa Sancti Jacobi – Sanctus, Agnus Dei
Vergene Bella
La Belle se siet
Ballade: Se la face ay pale
Flos Florum
Ecclesiae militantis
Balsamus et munda cera
Supremum est mortalibus bonum
Ave Maris Stella
L’alta tua bellezza
Salve flos Tusce gentis
Ce moys de may
Bon jour, bon mois
Il sera par vous combatu
Missa L’homme armé – Kyrie
S’il est Plaisir
Je me complains
Par le regard
Ave regina caelorum II
Sanctus Ave verum corpus
Gaude virgo

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Johannah Smith for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Guillaume Dufay https://ift.tt/2ZJ2x4I

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

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Edward Elgar

Donald Macleod explores Edward Elgar’s music through the locations that inspired him.

Worcester-born, with his roots in the beautiful English countryside around Hereford and the Malverns yet drawn to the bright lights of London, English composer Edward Elgar moved house a lot. He lived in over 25 residences in his lifetime, stayed with friends, travelled often for work and pleasure in the UK, Europe and further afield, and had a number of second homes he rented as retreats. This week we’re focusing on the locations that were important to Elgar, and the places that inspired his music. Following Elgar’s journeys, Donald takes us from home life in the Midlands to country cottage holidays, summers in Europe and as far afield as the Amazon.

Music featured:
Pomp and Circumstance March, Op 39 No 1 in D major
Cockaigne (In London Town)
Salut d’amour, Op 12
O Happy Eyes, Op 18 No 1
The Dream of Gerontius, Op 38
Owls, an Epitaph, Op 53 No 4 (Four Choral Songs)
Enigma Variations, Op 36
Symphony No 2 (3rd movement)
String Quartet (2nd movement)
Introduction ‘The woodland interlude’ (Caractacus)
Sea Pictures, Op 37
Piano Quintet, Op 84 (3rd movt – Andante – Allegro)
Cello Concerto in E minor, Op 85 (1st movement)
In Smyrna
Paris – Five Quadrilles
From the Bavarian Highlands, Op 27 Nos 3 – 6
In the South (Alassio)
Mina
The Wand of Youth Suite No 1, Op 1a
Organ Sonata No 1 in G major, Op 28 (2nd movement)
Severn Suite, Op 87
Lux Aeterna (choral arrangement of Enigma Variations Op 36 Nimrod by John Cameron)

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Amy Wheel for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Edward Elgar https://ift.tt/31cRr9e

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

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Antonio Vivaldi

Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Antonio Vivaldi.

As a virtuoso violinist, as a teacher, as a priest and as a prolific composer, Antonio Vivaldi was a key figure in Baroque Italy and remains one of the most famous names in classical music today. In this episode, Donald begins by exploring Vivaldi’s intrinsic link with his birth city, Venice, through a series of images. Next, he examines the depth of Vivaldi’s faith – as an ordained priest who didn’t say mass, there have been many questions asked about his piety. We’ll also hear about the composer’s many female muses, his rapid fall from grace to anonymity and the posthumous rediscovery of his music after a long period in the musical wilderness.

Music featured:
Violin Concerto in E flat major “La Tempesta di Mare”, RV 253
Armida, RV 699
Violin Concerto in F minor “L’inverno”, RV297
Judita Triumphans, RV644
Concerto for two horns, RV 538
Laetatus sum (psalm 121), RV 607
Concerto in G minor, Op 3 No 2, RV 578
Stabat Mater dolorosa, RV 621
Gloria, RV 589
Griselda, RV 718
Il Teuzzone RV 736
Dorilla In Tempe, RV 709
Concerto for Viola d’Amore in A minor, RV397
Orlando furioso, RV 728
Nulla in mundo pax sincera, RV 630
Atenaide, RV 702
Il Farnace, RV 711
Concerto per S.A.S.I.S.P.G.M.D.G.S.M.B., RV 574
Violin Concerto in E major “la primavera”, RV 269
La Senna Festeggiante, RV 693
Violin Concerto No 12 in B Minor “La Cetra”, RV 391
Agrippo, RV697
Il Bajazet, RV 703
Nisi Dominus, RV 608
Salve Regina, RV 616
Bach: Concerto for Four Keyboards in A minor (after Vivaldi), BWV 1065
L’Olimpiade, RV 725
Violin Concerto in G Minor “L’estate”, RV 315
Dixit Dominus, RV 594

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Sam Phillips for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Antonio Vivaldi https://ift.tt/2Yn2o5Y

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

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James MacMillan

Donald Macleod talks to composer James MacMillan as he celebrates his 60th birthday

One of the UK’s most prolific living composers, James MacMillan was born on the 16th of July 1959 in Ayrshire. His grandfather introduced him to brass band music and his primary teacher taught him the recorder. The combination of these musical experiences sparked a lifelong passion in James to make and create music of his own. As well as James’s journey into music, we’ll hear about the birth of James’s political and religious views, and his critiques of Scotland which finds their way into his writing. Donald and James discuss the importance of the composer’s connection with his listeners and performers. His festival, the Cumnock Tryst, brings musical sharing to his community in Ayrshire, and his religious music continues to bring solace even in very difficult family times.

Music featured:
The Storm (Into the Ferment)
Berserking (1st movement)
It is Finished (Seven Last Words from the Cross)
The Confession of Isobel Gowdie
For Ian
Cantos Sagrados (Identity)
The Reproaches (Cello Concerto)
Veni, Veni Emmanuel
A Scotch Bestiary
Tenebrae Responsories
Clemency: Sarah’s Lament
Piano Concerto No 2 (3rd movement – Shamnation)
O Radiant Dawn (Strathclyde Motets)
Miserere
Oboe Concerto
The Sacrifice: Act III, Scene 3
Domus Infelix Est – An Unhappy House
One
Prelude (St Luke Passion)
Benedicimus Deum coeli (Strathclyde Motets)
Violin Concerto (3rd movement – Song and Dance)
Fac, ut portem Christi mortem (Stabat Mater)

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Rosie Boulton for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for James MacMillan https://ift.tt/2JHnsQR

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

from Composer of the Week https://ift.tt/2JHntEp
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Carl Nielsen

Donald Macleod explores Carl Nielsen’s worldview through his music.

You’ll find a clue as to Carl Nielsen’s character in any number of photographs that show him smiling; they include snaps of him taken as a young man in which he’s cheekily pulling funny faces for the camera. They’re far removed from the formal portraiture one might expect of Denmark’s foremost composer. As well as a good sense of humour, these unselfconscious poses reveal an open, inquisitive fascination with the world around him.

In this episode, Donald Macleod explores how the world around him fed into Nielsen’s music. Excerpts from five of his symphonies reveal some of his most profound thinking on life, while his major choral works Hymnus Amoris and Springtime on Funen – which directly relate to his rural childhood – show a more personal side of his character. Ever the keen observer, there’s comedy and drama and even a musical portrait of chickens to be found in his operas.

Music featured:
Maskarade: Overture
Violin Concerto, Op 33 (Rondo: Allegretto scherzando)
Frihed er det bedste guld
Helios Overture
Afflictus Sum (3 Motets)
The Cockerel’s Dance (Maskarade)
Se dig ud en sommerdag
Chaconne, Op 32
Symphony No 3 (1: Allegro espansivo)
String Quintet in G major (3: Allegretto scherzando)
Springtime on Funen, Op 42
Five Piano Pieces Op 3 (Humoresque: Allegretto giocoso)
Little Suite for Strings (Intermezzo)
6 Songs, Op 10
Symphony No 1 (Allegro orgoglioso)
Hymnus Amoris
Benedictus Dominus (3 Motets)
Jens Vejmand (excerpts)
Suite, Op 45 for piano (Allegretto un pochettino)
Saga-Dream
Saul and David (Act 4)
String Quartet in F major, Op 44 (1: Allegro non tanto e comodo)
Symphony No 5 (Allegro – Presto – Andante poco tranquillo – Allegro (tempo 1))
Graeshoppen
Wind Quintet (1: Allegro ben moderato)
Pan and Syrinx, Op 49
Sonata for violin and piano No 2, Op 35 (2: molto adagio)
Symphony No 4 (1: Allegro)

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Johannah Smith for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Carl Nielsen https://ift.tt/2LSSPJx

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

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CPE Bach

Donald Macleod tells the story of the loss – and later rediscovery – of CPE Bach’s music

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was many things in his lifetime: composer, virtuoso harpsichord player and improviser extraordinaire, author, businessman – publishing his own music – biographer – of his father and other members of his family, and teacher. This week we look at CPE Bach’s music and reputation in the light of the sensational rediscovery of much of his archive in 1999. Throughout the episode we’ll hear recent recordings of this ‘new’ music. We’ll learn about CPE’s musical crowd-funding, his emotive Empfindsamer style, his life in Hamburg, and how the discovery has changed the way Bach and his music is seen in 2019.

Music featured:
L’Aly Rupalich, Wq 117 No 27
Keyboard Concerto in D minor, Wq 23
Heilig, Wq 217
Flute concerto in D Major, Wq 13
Solfeggio in C Minor, Wq 117 No 2
Free Fantasie in F sharp minor, Wq 67
Licht der Welt, von Gott gegeben, H 811 (Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe)
Rondo II in D Minor, Wq 61 No 4
Flute Sonata in A minor, Wq 132
Solfeggio in C Minor
Symphony in D Major, Wq 183 No 1
Fantasia No. 2 in C Major, Wq 59 No 6
Wer ist so würdig als du; Ach, ruft mich einst zu seinen Freuden, H 805 (Nun danket alle Gott)
Sonata in C Minor, Wq 78
Morgengesang am Schöpfungsfeste, W 239
Magnificat anima mea Dominum, Et misericordia eius, Gloria Patri et Filio, Sicut erat in principio (Magnificat, Wq 215)
Quartet in D Major, Wq 94
Rondo in A minor Wq 56 No 5
Gott fähret auf mit Jauchzen, Wq 240 (Die Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu)
Leite mich nach deinem Willen, H 835
Cello Concerto in A major, Wq 172 (2nd mvt)
Symphony in B minor, Wq 182 No 5
Sonata in C major, Wq 55 No 1 (Für Kenner und Liebhaber)
Double Concerto for harpsichord and fortepiano in E Flat major, Wq 47

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Iain Chambers for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for CPE Bach https://ift.tt/329Kg2P

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

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Fryderyk Chopin

Donald Macleod explores “the poet of the piano”, Fryderyk Chopin.

Donald starts this week’s episode with a look at how Chopin’s Polish heritage shaped his music. Although he left the country at the age of 20, dance forms like the polonaise and mazurka left a strong mark on his writing. Next, we catch fleeting glimpses of the composer through his letters, and his relationship with his instrument, the piano. Chopin’s reticence to perform made his rare appearances extremely lucrative, but he much preferred the more intimate and sociable surroundings of the salon, where his trademark light touch could be appreciated to the full. We hear about Chopin through the eyes of his most illustrious contemporaries – his lover George Sand, and fellow composers Franz Liszt and Robert Schumann. To end, stories of the composer’s ever-feeble health – Berlioz is supposed to have said Chopin was “dying all his life” – which makes the scale of his achievement all the more heroic.

Music featured:
‘Życzenie’ (The maiden’s wish), Op 74 No 1
Piano Concerto No 2 in F minor, Op 21 (3rd mvt, Allegro vivace)
4 Mazurkas, Op 17
Polonaise No 5 in C minor, Op 40 No 2
Polonaise No 6 in A flat, Op 53 (‘Heroic’)
Ballade No 4 in F minor, Op 52
2 Mazurkas (Mazurka in G; Mazurka in B flat)
Piano Concerto No 1 in E minor, Op 11 (2nd mvt, Romance—Larghetto)
Preludes, Op 28
3 Mazurkas, Op 50 (No 1 in G; No 2 in A flat; No 3 in C sharp minor)
2 Nocturnes, Op 55 (No 1 in F minor; No 2 in E flat)
Etude in A flat, Op 25 No 1 (‘Aeolian Harp’)
‘Krakowiak’: Grand Concert Rondo in F, Op 14
Mazurka in B minor, Op 33 No 4
Andante spianato, Op 22 No 1
Impromptu No 3 in G flat, Op 51
Nocturne in F sharp minor, Op 48 No 2
Barcarolle, Op 60
Etude in C, Op 10 No 1
Ballade No 2 in F, Op 38
Variations in B flat major on ‘La ci darem la mano’, from Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni, Op 2
Scherzo No 4 in E, Op 54
Sonata in G minor for piano and cello, Op 65 (2nd and 3rd movements)
Mazurka in G minor, Op 67 No 2
2 Nocturnes, Op 27 (No 1 in C sharp minor, Larghetto; No 2 in D flat, Lento sostento)
Scherzo No 3 in C sharp minor, Op 39
Ballade No 3 in A flat, Op 47
Sonata No 3 in B minor, Op 58 (3rd movement, Largo)
Waltz in E flat, Op 18 (‘Grande valse brillante’)
Berceuse, Op 57

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Chris Barstow for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Fryderyk Chopin https://ift.tt/2RFfDxj

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

from Composer of the Week https://ift.tt/2Fyhcs7
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Jacques Offenbach

Donald Macleod on Jacques Offenbach – maestro of the Cancan and much more besides.

Today’s episode we meet Offenbach on the brink of defeat – when he decides to launch his own theatre company, ‘Les Bouffes-Parisiens’ in a tiny wooden shack on the Champs-Elysées. It was an instant and enduring success; over the next quarter-century, more than 50 of Offenbach’s musical comedies were to début there. We get an insight into the character of this driven creative artist – the man who “cannot stop working”. He even had his carriage kitted out with a writing desk, so that he could continue composing, scoring or revising as he travelled between venues. Next, we hear about his A-team librettists, Meilhac and Halévy, and a mysterious stranger makes him an offer he can’t refuse. Offenbach is whisked to the United States on a concert tour, where he is particularly fascinated by the women. Finally, Donald looks at Offenbach’s gout-ridden final years, and the opera he left unfinished on his death (The Tales of Hoffmann).

Music featured:
Orphée aux enfers (extracts)
Les deux aveugles (Overture)
Monsieur Choufleuri restera chez lui (extracts)
Valse de Zimmer (Dernier Souvenir)
Boléro (from Grande scène espagnole, Op 22)
Lischen et Fritzchen (Act 1, ‘Je suis Alsacienne’)
Le papillon (extract)
Boule de neige (‘L’Hospodar nous invite a luncher avec lui, lunchons!’)
Barbe-bleue (Act 1, Couplets de Boulotte: “Y’a des bergers dans le village”)
La belle Hélène (extract)
La vie Parisienne (Act 3, finale)
La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein (Act I, finale)
La Perichole (extract)
La boulangerie à des écus (‘Ce qu’ j’ai?’)
Vert-Vert (overture)
American Eagle Waltz
La vie Parisienne (Act 2, beginning)
Les belles Américaines
La Belle Hélène (Act 2, ‘On me nomme Hélène le blond’)
La jolie parfumeuse (Act 1, ‘Je peins, je crayonne’)
Les contes d’Hoffmann (extract)

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Chris Barstow for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Jacques Offenbach https://bbc.in/2IvIDED

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://bbc.in/2vwHS8q

from Composer of the Week https://bbc.in/2WYg4DQ
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